Who is Marcus Akins and how did he manage to make it into the top tier of the music chart with no publicist, no marketing budget and no advance promotions? To get those answers we first need to take a look at Marcus Akins.
Marcus Akins is a Contemporary Christian singer and songwriter who has spent the majority of his 24 years engulfed in music. He was taking piano lessons by age four and leading worship by the time he was 15. After going through the motions of religion he began to take his relationship with God more seriously when he was 16. The music took on new meaning and he began writing songs during his senior year of high school.
In this interview Marcus Akins shared how The Pursuit of Hope became a reality. Akins also shared the importance of communicating the goodness of God through his music.
What led you to do the EP? “I really had never done anything solo in my life. I always wanted to have a group with me. When God called me to do it, it was really outside of my comfort zone, because I never thought I would have done it.
What God showed me later was the only way that I could let out what I had been through in the years that preceded was for me to go out on a limb and do it. I had been through a lot, just life altering experiences. Even under the provision of God I’ve just been through a lot. When He told me to venture out and do The Pursuit of Hope it all came out and when it came out it was amazing! The fruit of that was seen because people are being blessed by it.”
Did you write all the songs? “Yes and I co-wrote a couple of them. For “Freedom,” a good friend of mine, Jonathan Jones and I sat down and I played the music all the way through and we co-wrote that one. “You Are The Joy” is a track that one of my best friends, Aaron Agre wrote. I was playing the chords to the chorus while we were worshipping one day. He started singing the words to the chorus while we were playing those chords. A couple of weeks later he basically had the entire song written. I contributed one line (laughs) to the song and he did the rest.”
So just how did Marcus Akins manage to make such a strong debut without the usual machinery behind him ? His answer reveals the power of unity and the importance of being deeply connected with a body of believers. And it also validates the assertion of many movers and shakers in the industry: establish a fan base.
Were you surprised that the EP did so well when it debuted? “I was very surprised! I really didn’t know that I was up there. I know a lot of people will just blast everything months in advance to set up for a release. My goal was to wait until maybe just a couple of weeks before and just let people know in different ways what was going on. About a week before, I released my promo video. Then I started just doing mass blasts on social media and everybody within my church family was doing the same thing( New Song Church, Vienna, VA). They totally back me on what I do. They were doing the same thing and it was hitting a lot of different markets even before it came out, but I was still surprised. It’s nothing but the grace of God. My whole goal is that people hear the music so that they can be changed. That they can just have a different perspective of what hope is and the more people that hear it the more hope will be released. That’s what I was excited about, more than anything else. Not even that I was climbing the iTunes chart, but that people were just hearing the sound that I wanted to release. That was my favorite part about it.”
What do you want to achieve with The Pursuit of Hope? “That those listening will know God is really the only being in all of creation that we can really put our hope in and that we can put our trust in. If you listen to each track on the EP, there’s just a sense that you can put your hope in God. If I were to go through each track right now and just explain it,that’s really what it’s about. Because everything else passes away. Kings and kingdoms, they all pass away. The money fades away, everything just passes away, but God is the only thing that not only lasts, but also the only thing that remains the same; there’s no fluctuation.
So when they hear the music, that’s just what I want them to feel, even if it’s not through the words. I’m a strong believer that even melodies carry just a sense of spirit behind them so even if they hear a melody in a song that just gives them a sense that they can put their hope in God and in Jesus. That’s what I want them to feel. It’s really nothing but that, just to try it if they haven’t tried it before, just try it out.”
Are you working on a full length album? “I’m still working on songs for my full length. I’m going to take the 6 from the EP and then add 9 to it. I have about 5 songs written so I’m working on 4 more. I want the EP to have been out for a year before I release the full length. It won’t be before May 2014, but Ill be working on it. I’m talking with my producer now we’re get back in the studio and working.”
How would you describe Marcus Akins? “I’m just a passionate lover of Jesus and of people. I’m passionate about the things of God just because everything about him is beautiful. I feel that it’s amazing that He’s the most beautiful thing in all creation, but all He wants to do is be with us. I’m very passionate about people and I want people to get the understanding of how beautiful God is so that they can live their lives with Him. I’m just passionate about God, about people and I’m passionate about life. That’s how I would sum myself up.”
Check out The Pursuit of Hope on iTunes. My picks: “Freedom” and “The Highest.”